WASHINGTON (AP) — A Kentucky gentleman with a prolonged criminal history was sentenced Friday to a file-placing 14 a long time in jail for attacking law enforcement officers with pepper spray as he stormed the U.S. Capitol with his spouse.
Peter Schwartz’s prison sentence is the longest so far amid hundreds of Capitol riot conditions. The judge who sentenced Schwartz also handed down the past longest sentence — 10 many years — to a retired New York Law enforcement Division officer who assaulted a law enforcement officer exterior the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
Prosecutors experienced recommended a jail sentence of 24 several years and 6 months for Schwartz, a welder.
U.S. District Choose Amit Mehta sentenced Schwartz to 14 many years and two months in jail, adopted by 3 several years of supervised release.
Mehta reported Schwartz was a “soldier from democracy” who participated in “the form of mayhem, chaos that experienced under no circumstances been witnessed in the country’s history.”
“You are not a political prisoner,” the judge explained to hm. “You’re not someone who is standing up against injustice or battling towards an autocratic regime.”
Schwartz briefly dealt with the judge prior to learning his sentence, saying, “I do sincerely regret the hurt that Jan. 6 has caused to so many people and their lives.”
The decide said he did not imagine Schwartz’s statement, noting his absence of remorse.
“You took it on yourself to check out and injure multiple police officers that working day,” Mehta reported.
Schwartz was armed with a wood tire knocker when he and his then-wife, Shelly Stallings, joined other rioters in too much to handle a line of police officers on the Capitol’s Lower West Terrace, exactly where he threw a folding chair at officers.
“By throwing that chair, Schwartz immediately contributed to the slide of the police line that enabled rioters to flood ahead and just take more than the whole terrace,” prosecutor Jocelyn Bond wrote in a court filing.
Schwartz, 49, also armed himself with a police-issued “super soaker” canister of pepper spray and sprayed it at retreating officers. Advancing to a tunnel entrance, Schwartz coordinated with two other rioters, Markus Maly and Jeffrey Brown, to spray an orange liquid toward officers clashing with the mob.
“While the stream of liquid did not specifically strike any officer, its effect was to heighten the hazard to the officers in that tunnel,” Bond wrote.
Before leaving, Schwartz joined a “heave ho” drive versus law enforcement in the tunnel.
Stallings pleaded guilty final calendar year to riot-linked prices and was sentenced final thirty day period to two decades of incarceration.
Schwartz was attempted with co-defendants Maly and Brown. In December, a jury convicted all 3 of assault expenses and other felony offenses.
Mehta sentenced Brown very last Friday to four yrs and 6 months in jail. Maly is scheduled to be sentenced June 9.
Schwartz’s lawyers requested a jail sentence of four years and 6 months. They stated his actions on Jan. 6 were determined by a “misunderstanding” about the 2020 presidential election. Then-President Donald Trump and his allies spread baseless conspiracy theories that Democrats stole the election from the Republican incumbent.
“There keep on being quite a few grifters out there who stay free of charge to go on propagating the ‘great lie’ that Trump won the election, Donald Trump currently being between the most notable. Mr. Schwartz is not one particular of these individuals he is aware of he was improper,” his defense legal professionals wrote.
Prosecutors explained Schwartz has bragged about his participation in the riot, shown no remorse and claimed that his prosecution was politically enthusiastic. He referred to the Capitol assault as the “opening of a war” in a Facebook article a day right after the riot.
“I was there and no matter if people will admit it or not we are now at war,” Schwartz wrote.
Schwartz has elevated over $71,000 from an online marketing campaign entitled “Patriot Pete Political Prisoner in DC.” Prosecutors asked Mehta to order Schwartz to pay back a good equaling the total lifted by his campaign, arguing that he should not profit from taking part in the riot.
Schwartz was on probation when he joined the Jan. 6 riot. His legal report involves a “jaw-dropping” 38 prior convictions due to the fact 1991, “several of which concerned assaulting or threatening officers or other authority figures,” Bond wrote.
Schwartz was doing work as a welder in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, before his arrest in February 2021, but he considers his property to be in Owensboro, Kentucky, according to his attorneys.
More than 100 police officers were being hurt for the duration of the riot. Additional than 1,000 people have been charged with federal crimes similar to Jan. 6. Approximately 500 of them have been sentenced, with about 50 percent obtaining phrases of imprisonment.
The 10-calendar year jail sentence that Mehta handed down in September to retired NYPD officer Thomas Webster had remained the longest right up until Friday. Webster experienced utilized a steel flagpole to assault an officer and then tackled the same officer as the mob state-of-the-art towards the Capitol.